My mission today (with Jays invaluable assistance) was to get a SIM card for my mobile. It was not difficult to find a mobile store as there are at least 15 of them within a 5 minute walk of where I am staying. I have decided to use the phone company known as "olleh". Their plans are cheaper than their competitors and their coverage seems good.
Today the people seemed much more helpful. It took them a while because apparently it is a complicated process to issue a foreigner with a SIM card. In the end it turns out I put the cart before the horse. My passport alone was not sufficient identification to get a SIM card. I should have gotten a foreigner ID card from the government before getting a SIM card with access to data plans. Without the foreigner ID card the phone store could only sell me a very basic phone package with no data allowance and only the ability to make phone calls and send text messages. Lucky for me I have a Korean girlfriend. Jay was able to legally sign me up under her name and give me access to the better mobile plans. As you can see in the first table below, the plans are a lot more generous than in Australia. In the end I decided to go with the 54,000 won (AU$49) per month plan which gives me unlimited data.
Early today (around 11am) I ran a speed test and got a ping of 495ms, download of 1045kbps and an upload of 567kbps. I just ran the test again (sitting at my desk again) and got a ping 768ms, download of 253kbps and an upload of 157kbps so there seems to be quite a bit of variability depending on the time of day.